Western Australia – Chairperson
My name is Naomi Zaro and I work at Bega Garnbirringu Health Services Inc in Kalgoorlie, Western Austraila.
I am an AHPRA registered Aboriginal Health Practitioner as well as Clinical Educator. I hold a Cert IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care and also a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. Read More...
I have been an AHW since 2012 and a Clinical Educator since October 2014, training new Health Workers in Certificate IV Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice.
In my role as AHW/AHP, I have been fortunate enough to travel the Goldfields/Esperance region with the mobile clinic, including being clinical support for the Black Dog Motor bike ride (Suicide Awareness) as well as providing clinical services to communities, schools and with Ear Bus.
I am Kalgoorlie born and bred but have ties to the Torres Strait Islander culture as my father was born on Mer (Murray) Island in the eastern Torres Straits.
I have been a NATSIHWA member since 2014.
South Australia – Deputy Chairperson
Robert Dann is a Aboriginal Yamitji Man, Who's connection to country encompasses the wide area from Geraldton on the far west coast of Australia and extending through the Mid West of Western Australia to Wiluna. Robert Currently has the role of supporting the Aboriginal Health workforce and community within South Australia. Read More...
Robert is currently employed at the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) as the Workforce Development Officer supporting Aboriginal Health Worker and Practitioners. In his current role at the AHCSA, Mr Dann facilitates Community engagement events also providing support with:
- Workforce training needs support
- Assisting workforce move towards achieving Aboriginal Health Worker registration
- Identify and assist in resolving workforce issues related to Aboriginal Health Worker/Practitioner roles
- Provide professional development access
- Represent AHCSA at internal and external committee meetings in reference to workforce issues
He has 7 years experience as an Aboriginal Health Worker and Aboriginal Hospital & Mental Health Liaison Officer. Supported by 9 years of community-controlled governance experience.
Mr Dann also helped guide the development of the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Association as member of the Expert Reference Group.
Mr Dann has extensive life experience and knowledge of living in Aboriginal communities His governance and clinical experience provides him with extensive knowledge in relation to Aboriginal health workforce issues.
Some particular areas of interest for Robert are:
- Men’s Health and Wellbeing
- Aboriginal Mental Health
- Palliative Care
- Awareness of Aboriginal culture
- Aboriginal Health Workers issues
Victoria – Treasurer
Christine Ingram is a proud Yidindji women from Far North Queensland, one of three siblings, who grew up in Melbourne. Christine has worked in Aboriginal Health since the early 90’s.
Christine began her career in Aboriginal Health as a trainee Dental Health Worker within the Oral Health Unit at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS). Read More...
Christine has completed the following training: Cert III in Dental Assisting with credits, Cert III in Aboriginal Primary Health Care and a Diploma of Practice Management. Christine has held a variety of positions and roles at VAHS which has included senior and executive management. Christine was acknowledged for her continued dedication to improving the Oral health of the Aboriginal community and was the recipient of a Dental Health Services Victoria Public Oral Health care Award in 2011. Christine is currently working within the Integrated Team Care at VAHS. This role provides support, advocacy and care co-ordination for our clients with complex needs. An active board member since NATSIHWA was established in 2008 and incorporated 2009.
Northern Territory – Secretary
When I was young my grandmother told me that I always said I wanted to work in the field of helping people. I would travel out to our country/land from when I was about 7 years old. Read More...
My mum and dad started to build our outstation and I visited them as I was going to school. One of my family friends was a Senior Aboriginal health Workers (SAHW) and her name was Esther Seaton and she would travel out to communities promoting the role of a AHW, as we lived very remote and could only drive to Darwin 5 months of the year the community wanted to have a AHW.
There were about 13 outstations and around 300 people who accessed the main community. I was about 16 years old and I was chosen from the community to be the future AHW. As I was chosen I was given the respect to deliver/ provide health care for our Marrithieyl people.
I started my training in 1992 as a Trainee AHW. Once I completed my training I worked at Woodcupilidya Health Centre. Back then we only had UHF radio contact with the DR on call and we had to drive the car at 80km on the airstrip to see if the plane could land.
I worked with a nurse in a 20 foot demountable with 1 consult room. We had 13 outstations that we visited weekly in the dry season. I worked with many different nurse over time.
In 1999 I went for a 2 week holiday in Nhulunbuy and loved it so much I went back there and lived for 8 years and worked as a AHW at Yirrkala Health and was adopted by one of the family’s. I learnt a lot from the SAHW about bush medicine and smoking ceremony’s. I worked a lot with the strong women workers who shared their traditional skills with me. I then decided that as our profession was an aging profession there were no young AHW coming through and wanted to know why.
I applied for an AHW Education and Training position that was based in Nhulunbuy and worked with many SAHW who passed on their knowledge and I got to understand that they were also chosen from their community people.
I then decided to go home as my children needed to learn their own culture and land so I went back to Darwin as the Aboriginal Health Practitioner Coordinator and worked the Top end west. I then became the Acting AHP Director and travelled and worked with AHP from East Arnhem, West
Tasmania – Director
Jacob Prehn is a proud Worimi man born and living on Palawa country in Hobart, Tasmania. He first worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker in 2010 at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, primarily working with youths and in a clinical environment. Read More...
Jacob’s tertiary qualifications are a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Social Work both from the University of Tasmania. He is hoping to undertake a PHD in the future regarding Aboriginal men’s health, an area he is thoroughly interested in and feels is under-researched. Jacob has recently completed a graduate certificate in Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) which he feels is highly beneficial to Aboriginal people and is well positioned to provide a unique form of therapy which utilises a connection to country and culture.
Currently he is employed two days a week as a Social Worker and Aboriginal Health Worker to run Tasmanian’s only Aboriginal Men’s program, the program has a focus on the holistic benefits of connecting to country and culture, as well as supporting men to achieve their goals. He also works at the University of Tasmania three days a week in Aboriginal Research and Leadership, a role that allows him to emphasise the importance between Aboriginal health and research being determined and directed by Aboriginal people. The position also allows him to support Aboriginal people looking to undertake post-graduate research.
New South Wales - Director
David is currently a Senior Project Officer, with in the Aboriginal Chronic Care Team with in NSW Health’s Agency of Clinical Innovation. Previous to this position, he spent over six years within Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) based at Gosford. Read More...
The bulk of his time here, he managed the Aboriginal Chronic Care Program with the CCLHD’s Aboriginal Health unit, with secondments to Public Health Unit and Priority Programs, working on projects for Dental and Sexual Health / Needle and Syringe Program). Additionally, before his time at CCLHD, David spend 6 years in South Eastern Sydney and Illarwarra Local Health District (know Sydney Local Health District and Illawarra Local Health District). In his time here, David was an Aboriginal Health Worker, trainee enrolled nurse and Aboriginal Chronic Care Project Lead. In this time, he completed a Certificate IV in Enrolled Nursing (NSW TAFE) and a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Aboriginal Health College).
David is currently finishing off his Masters in Public Health at Sydney University. On completion of his Master’s degree, he will meet all requirements to have successfully completed the Aboriginal Population Health Training Initiative (APHTI). David’s passions and interests include Aboriginal Health, Public Health and Health Policy Development.
David, proudly states he is a second generation of this family to venture into Aboriginal health, with his Mother, Sue Follent, one of the early Cohorts of Aboriginal Health Workers within the NSW health System and went on to Manage Bugalweena Service, within Tweed Hospital in Northern NSW, retiring in 2010 after a career spanning nearly 30 years.
Within Aboriginal Health across NSW, and has strong relationships with key stakeholders across NSW. This includes NSW Ministry of Health, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, AH&MRC, Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks and other government / Non-Government service providers.
Australian Capital Territory
A Torres Strait Islander born on Mer Island. Grew up in Brisbane. Completed 2 years General Nursing Training at Brisbane General Hospital and then spent 2 years in the Army Nursing Corps. Married and relocated to Perth and raised 5 children. While the children were young Thelma worked as a nurse in Aged Care for fifteen years. Read More...
Thelma applied to Marr Mooditj Foundation to study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health graduating with an Advance Certificate and a Diploma. An award for excellence in Diabetes Education Prevention and Control, Medication Certificate School of Pharmacy at Curtin University. The students were fortunate to accompany two doctors one an eye specialist on a Trachoma Survey visiting the communities of Meekatharra, Wiluna, Jigalong, Newman, Laverton and Kalgoorlie and Certificate in Trachoma Screening. While a student at Marr Mooditj Thelma was fortunate to be selected to go to the USA and spent time touring the Navajo Lands in New Mexico and Arizona and also toured Alberta Canada. Thelma was employed by Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service and while there worked in many positions as a Senior Health Worker and also as Manager of one of the outer branches of Derbarl Kerrigan. Thelma relocated to Canberra and is now employed by Winnunga Nimmityjah Health Service as the Administration Receptionist and manage the NSP programme. Thelma has been the ACT representative on the Board of NATSIHWA since October 2013.
Torres Strait Island – Director
NATSIHWA representative for the Torres Strait Islands and from Badu Island, Yancy has been a Health Worker for over 19 years and Board Members since 2012. Currently the Manager for Health Programs in a Primary Health Care she is overseeing the Child and Maternal Health Program throughout the Torres Strait Islands and Northern Peninsular Area, she also worked with Qld Health in theatre and A&E. Read More...
She is active in supporting and encouraging other Health Workers to achieve and to gain higher qualifications. Yancy herself has an Advanced Diploma in Primary Health Care, Cert 1V Workplace Training & Assessing and a Degree in Community Development. In her spare time and coming from a large family of 24 plus extended family she enjoys getting everyone together and going fishing, teaching kinship and culture to younger family members. She likes to ensure children are involved in sports and healthy activities.
Queensland – Director
Judith Parnham represents both Aboriginal and the Torres Straits and is a proud Ankamuthi (Northern Peninsular Area. Qld) and Erub - Darnley Island descendant.
Judith was born in Mossman Far North Queensland and lived and schooled in areas expanding from Mossman to Mt Isa.
She has been an Indigenous Health Worker since 2004 and has worked in the areas of Cairns and Northern Peninsular Area. Judith is currently working at the Atherton District Hospital on the Atherton Tablelands. Read More...
Judith believes that her resilience and determination to improve Indigenous health statistics and providing culturally appropriate awareness and services to the indigenous communities fuel her passion for educating and creating opportunities of awareness to non- indigenous communities.
Her continuous self-improvement and nurturing personality enable her to groom / role model, mentor and encourage the current and future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and health professionals.
Judith’s portfolio includes: Hearing Health, Health Promotion and Education, Chronic Disease, Child Health, Wound Care and Community Health.
Further studies have seen Judith gain her Diploma in Indigenous Primary Health Care, Diploma in Indigenous Education and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion.
Other significant achievements within Indigenous Health is:
2005- The Premiers Award for Participation in the Homelands Partnership
2008 – Implementation Coordinator for the Indigenous Bowel Cancer Screening Program
2018- NQPHN Health Professional Awards – Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker/Practitioner of the year.